Monday, February 4, 2019

Clipboardus Resumptus

Now that January camp is done and dusted, we'll reboot the USMNT Clipboard right quick. First, let's quickly review the half I actually got done before hitting the road last time.

The only change of any kind at any of these positions was in defensive midfield, where Geoff Cameron's injury opened the door for another veteran. A certain someone that (GRRR) we still haven't had the chance to see only remains third there because, well, we still haven't had the chance to see him.

Oh, and as far as I'm concerned, we should quickly switch into "as much top 23 as possible" mode with Gold Cup really not so far away anymore. I'd expect (or hope) that the players listed gobble up nearly all the PT going forward. The window for wide net auditions is shutting.

Zack Steffen
Brad Guzan
Ethan Horvath

Matt Miazga
Erik Palmer-Brown
Cameron Carter-Vickers

John Anthony Brooks
Aaron Long
Walker Zimmerman

Tyler Adams
Michael Bradley
Russell Canouse

Darlington Nagbe
Weston McKennie
Sebastian Lletget*

And now that we're caught up, let's hit the #10 and strike stables...

Christian Pulisic
Sebastian Lletget*

I've not budged. Until there is another starting quality string puller out there, Pulisic stays in the hole. He can go to the wing when things change here. Maybe Lletget can inspire more trust at this position. So yes, he is the rare guy to be listed at two stations simultaneously. Like I said, it seems best if we start to keep the rolling squad lean for summer. The guys on the third line can make up camp numbers when either the Euro-guys or the MLS-ers are unavailable.

Bobby Wood
Josh Sargent

When Altidore is back to playing, he can go back up on top of the list. For now, Wood has the biggest sum of chops and season. Sargent is learning tons right now, so watch his progress closely. Zardes played his way into the third line mix during this camp, if only because he did very well when dropping deep to then ship positive lead balls to the flank. Making the system run counts big with me, even if he didn't take a chance.


Next time, we'll talk one of my favorite topics: wingers.

- Greg Seltzer


Unknown said...

Greg, I'm surprised you rate Canouse above Alfredo Morales (Brian Sciaretta at ASN also seems to). Canouse seems prone to mistimed tackles and gets caught in possession often (I'm a DC United fan and I saw a lot of him last season), and the very fact that Morales is getting regular playing time in the Bundesliga suggests he deserves a look. What am I missing?

ZackL said...

Not to answer for Greg, but for me, Canouse is less of a known quantity at the international level. Morales has about a dozen caps for the senior side (I think), so there's a clearer picture of what he offers than Canouse who has none.
I'd also say that, as another DC United fan, Canouse was great during the second half of the season. I thought he was excellent in the playoff against Columbus in particular, final result aside. Trapp keeps getting looks for instance, but I think Canouse offers some real upgrades over him (improved physicality, better ball retention/defensive positioning) so it would be good to know what he can do at the international level. He can definitely stand to polish his game and I don't see him as a starter, but he's earned an opportunity with the senior side.
Morales on the other hand, has already gotten some international appearances and doesn't offer a clear upside to me over Canouse, despite playing in a better league.

Unknown said...

Fair enough, thanks for your input, ZackL. At the very least it provides some rationale, and I will concede that as the season progressed, Canouse did seem to get better. In addition, Morales is 5 years older than Canouse, and will be past his (presumed) prime at the next world cup. That being said, he hasn't had a cap since 2015 under Klinsmann. With some more experience under his belt and a new system, I'd like to see what he can offer.

UnitedDemon said...

Mistimed tackles? Who are you watching? Aint Canouse.

Unknown said...

canouse looked like a walking two-by-four ready to whack anyone within 5 yards of a ball. like I said, this seemed to be less of an issue as the season went on. I didn't see any reason why he should have been playing instead of Durkin (who didn't really impress me either, to be frank).

Granted, I seem to be the only one with this opinion, so I am open to the fact that I might be wrong, but it looked like Canouse graduated from the Paul Scholes School of Tackling.

ZackL said...

I definitely saw him put in his fair share of tackles, but I don't remember him getting too many fouls or cards for them, but that's just my recollection. I'm assuming he started over Durkin due to his (comparative) age and experience as a professional. I like Durkin's passing range and ability to read the game, but I do wonder if he has the speed to play that position long term. Maybe he's better suited to CB?

I do feel for Morales though. Like you mentioned he's got a lot of experience and is playing pretty well. But that #6 spot is one with a fair amount of competition, so he doesn't seem likely to get many opportunities any time soon; either due to the out sized potential of Adams, Canouse's strong performances/relative youth, Bradley's return from exile, or Trapp's familiarity with Berhalter's system and methodologies. Seems like Morales is the odd man out. Earlier snubs could have been a symptom of some managers favoring MLS players over guys in European second-tiers, which always seemed reductive to me. You'd think someone excelling in 2.Bundesliga or the Championship would be able to contribute to the USMNT.